Angie's List: Finding a Pet Sitter - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Angie's List: Finding a Pet Sitter

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For many of us, we take time off and travel for the holidays to visit friends and family. But what happens if you can't take your pet along on your journey?

In this Angie's List report, KULR 8's Emily Nantz tells you how to find a pet sitter.

"Plus, they love her. They do love her."

For Peter and Erin Rusthoven, hiring a pet sitter to check on their three dogs gives them peace of mind.

"In addition to her obviously caring for the dogs, she's also checking the house, bringing in our mail, watering plants, those types of things," says the Rusthovens.

"We do a quick walk around outside the house. We make sure gates are closed if we have yard play scheduled with the dogs. We check and make sure windows and doors look secure. Part of our training program is teaching our staff what to look for that something might be out of place," says Becki Bradford, a pet sitter.

The nice thing about a pet sitter is that your pet gets to stay in their own environment. Also, you get someone who is checking in on your house for security reasons and in case something goes wrong like a busted pipe," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

Most professional sitters charge between $15 and $50 per visit, depending on how far they have to travel, length of visit and duties required. Visits can range from as little as 20 to 30 minutes to staying in the house overnight.

"When hiring a pet sitter, first and foremost you want to know how they get along with your pet. Have them over to your home. Watch them interact with your pet and see how they do. Also, because they are going to be in your home and you're trusting your pet with them, you want to make sure they are reputable so be sure you are interviewing the person that is going to be taking care of your pet and also be sure they are insured and bonded," says Angie Hicks.

"They should have a questionnaire that they fill out during the intake interview that answers some of the general questions we encounter: vet of record, emergency vet, how do reach you or a family member when you're out of town, those kinds of things," says the pet sitter.

Experts say cats do better in their home environments because they bond with their surroundings.

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